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After witnesses fail to appear, judge declares mistrial in case of man accused in crash that killed aspiring model

Lee An Orange County Superior Court judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the murder case against a Costa Mesa man accused of killing an aspiring model in a car crash on Valentine's Day 2010.

Gustavo Adrian Vega, 23, was ready for trial Wednesday morning at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana when the judge tossed out the case because two defense witnesses failed to show up.

At about 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 14, 2010, Vega, a former Orange Coast College student, allegedly ran a red light while driving drunk on Sunflower Avenue near South Coast Plaza and barreled into a car in which Cara Lee, 20, was riding.  Lee, an aspiring model who had beaten cervical cancer and worked as a recreational youth leader in Newport Beach, was killed in the crash.

Authorities claim Vega had been drinking in Santa Ana earlier in the day and had hit a parked car there before driving into Costa Mesa, where he crashed.

Read the full Daily Pilot Story: Mistrial declared in fatal crash

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-- Joseph Serna, Daily Pilot / Times Community News

Photo: Cara Lee. Credit: Family photo.

 
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